MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 319 this week

The General (1926)

8.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 37,839 users  
Reviews: 219 user | 103 critic

When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single handedly and straight through enemy lines.

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 31 titles
created 08 Mar 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 30 Nov 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 36 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The General (1926)

The General (1926) on IMDb 8.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The General.

User Polls

Top 250 #129 | 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who's actually a reporter looking for a story.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

U.S. Marine Sergeant O'Hara has his hands full training raw recruits, one of whom, 'Skeets' Burns, is a particular thorn in his side. If Burns's lackadaisical approach to the military were ... See full summary »

Director: George W. Hill
Stars: Lon Chaney, William Haines, Eleanor Boardman
Wings (1927)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two young men, one rich, one middle class, who are in love with the same woman, become fighter pilots in World War I.

Directors: William A. Wellman, Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast
Stars: Clara Bow, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, Richard Arlen
Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After an all-night send-off party for the troops, a small-town girl wakes up to find herself married and pregnant, but with no memory of her husband's identity.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton, Diana Lynn
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A flamboyant Broadway impresario who has fallen on hard times tries to get his former lover, now a Hollywood diva, to return and resurrect his failing career.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Barrymore, Carole Lombard, Walter Connolly
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The effete son of a cantankerous riverboat captain comes to join his father's crew.

Directors: Charles Reisner, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Tom McGuire, Ernest Torrence
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Longfellow Deeds, a simple-hearted Vermont tuba player, inherits a fortune and has to contend with opportunist city slickers.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft
Certificate: Passed Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An inventor needs cash to develop his big idea. His wife, who loves him, decides to raise it for him by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor
Show People (1928)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A young lady from Georgia goes to Hollywood in the hopes of becoming an actress.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Marion Davies, William Haines, Dell Henderson
Action | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Psychiatrist Dr. Ulrich Metz attempts to drive Daniel Brown to suicide.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Albert MacQuarrie, Kathleen Clifford
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy
Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler...but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Johnnie Gray
Marion Mack ...
Glen Cavender ...
Jim Farley ...
Frederick Vroom ...
Charles Henry Smith ...
Annabelle's Father (as Charles Smith)
Frank Barnes ...
Joe Keaton ...
Union General
Mike Donlin ...
Union General
Tom Nawn ...
Union General
Edit

Storyline

Johnnie loves his train ("The General") and Annabelle Lee. When the Civil War begins he is turned down for service because he's more valuable as an engineer. Annabelle thinks it's because he's a coward. Union spies capture The General with Annabelle on board. Johnnie must rescue both his loves. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

general | confederate | train | love | spy | See more »

Taglines:

Love, Locomotives and Laughs


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 February 1927 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The General  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1982) | (1962) | (2003 alternate) |

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Buster Keaton shot most of this film outdoors in Oregon because the narrow-gauge railroad tracks that could accommodate antique locomotives were still in use at the time. See more »

Goofs

The General and Texas are seen numbered 3 and 5, respectively. At the time the film is set, the engines of the Western and Atlantic were only known by their names, as were the General and the Texas. The railroads in the Confederacy did not begin numbering their engines until after the war. At that time, the General and Texas were numbered 39 and 49, respectively. The General did not receive the number 3 until the 1880s, and the Texas was renumbered 12 in 1880, then 212 in 1890, and never received the number 5. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Annabelle's brother: Fort Sumter has been fired upon.
Mr. Lee: Then the war is here.
Annabelle's brother: Yes, dad, and I'm going to be one of the first to enlist.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Heroes: Chapter Three 'One of Us, One of Them' (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Genius of Buster Keaton
17 April 2001 | by (Oldwick, NJ) – See all my reviews

Probably Buster Keaton's best film, and oddly enough, it's not even a straightforward comedy – it's actually an action film, with clever doses of romance and comedy tossed in for good measure. `The General', which is set during the Civil War, is about a train engineer named Johnny Gray (Buster Keaton, of course) who tries to enlist in the Confederate Army . . . and is turned down because the army feels he'd be much more valuable for the war effort as an engineer instead of a soldier. However, through a series of misunderstandings, both Johnny's family and his girl think he's a coward, and they refuse to speak to him until he becomes a soldier. Months pass, and Johnny, sad and alone, is piloting his train – the General – when it is stolen from him by the North. Johnny's efforts to recover the General – and to win back his girl's love – become an unbelievably funny and action-packed series of events, as Johnny tries to go from being a sad-sack buffoon to being a hero.

If you haven't watched many silent films, they demand a greater amount of attention than `normal' film – there are no audio cues; and volumes can be spoken with a simple facial expression. Buster Keaton is amazingly expressive, as he's fully capable of going from wildly happy to downtrodden and sad in the blink of an eye. While funny, Keaton is much more than just a clownish figure – he manages to evoke a lot of sympathy as well, and he genuinely becomes what can only be described as an action hero as well. His timing, whether for a joke or for a tender moment, is absolutely impeccable.

What's also great about `The General' is the sheer amount of stunts and physical humor – a movie like this couldn't be made today. No amount of insurance would cover it. Keaton does all his own stunts, and manages to perform a number of feats that are simultaneously hilarious and dangerous – he chases down `The General' with a bike, he sits on a moving cattlecatcher, knocking away railroad ties with a tie of his own. All these stunts are fantastic, but it's scary to think that any one of these probably could've killed Keaton if something even went slightly wrong.

`The General' is a lot more than slapstick. Personally, I think it's one of the first films to push the envelope of movies – it goes for action, romance, and humor, and it pulls all of those elements together into a terrific movie. If you've never seen Buster Keaton – or, for that matter, a silent film – go find this one and watch it. It's a classic. A+


86 of 91 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Can someone explain to me why this is so great? TheLamplightersSerenade
Your Top ten favorite silent films SakowskyBrothers
score/soundtrack mariasarasota
Best version on DVD? haciendacaliente
A little anal perhaps godels_sprog
I like to think I have good taste in movies, but... bulldawg8110
Discuss The General (1926) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?